It is an illusion but a pleasant one that on 1 January 2021 all the trials and tribulations of 2020 will disappear and a better year will begin merely because the number of the year changes.
Fortunately there is some hope - vaccine discovery and distribution - that in the months ahead, life a la the Pandemic will get better. But 1 January itself makes no difference!
21 January 2021 will make a difference for more than a few people on our planet: on that date we will see the back of Trump who even in the past 48 hours continues to inspire people to threaten - yet again - to dismantle democracy in the USA (the ramifications of which, should it happen - ever - would be untold for the democratic nations of the world, to say nothing of the encouragement it would give to undemocratic regimes everywhere.
So the year and the Trumpian era draw to a close. Christmas is but a few days away and this is the last and fiftieth post on ADU for 2020 - don’t look for the next one until 18 January 2021. “I need a break.”
Highlights of this year? The lens here is local, ecclesial rather than (say) global, political, personal:
- looking back, Lockdown was a really neat “rhythm of life” - a Sabbath of sorts, despite the many emails and Zoom meetings;
- our Cathedral Project made considerable progress and we are seeing significant steps in the stabilisation of the building taking place;
- our clergy and congregations have been faithful and fearless in responding to the challenges of the year.
In summary: God has blessed us.
- The fact of a Royal Commission in NZ on Abuse in State and Faith-based institutions: how can (some) Christians be so evil? Which is also a question about how the Spirit of God works within us to transform and change us into (not away from) the likeness of Christ?
In summary: the questions of evil and suffering has been very sharply posed this year for our church and other churches.
Finally, a Christmas thought?
There are so many and social media doesn’t necessarily need to communicate another one from me. But since you have read thus far, how about this?
When Mary sings in the Magnificat about a world of injustice being turned upside down, we are faced, 2000 years later, with the question of how much more needs to be done in God’s project to bring the world under God’s rule - the kingdom of God.
Are we up for the challenge of Christmas when viewed through this Marian lens?